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Trend Following with Michael Covel

Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 5 million listens. Investments, economics, decision-making, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests include Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Harry Markowitz & Vernon Smith. Also: James Altucher, Dan Ariely, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Marc Faber, Tim Ferriss, Jason Fried, Gerd Gigerenzer, Larry Hite, Sally Hogshead, Ryan Holiday, Jack Horner, Ewan Kirk, Steven Kotler, Michael Mauboussin, Tucker Max, Barry Ritholtz, Jim Rogers, Jack Schwager, Ed Seykota, Philip Tetlock & Walter Williams. All 500+ eps at www.trendfollowingradio.com/rss.
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Now displaying: November, 2016

Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 5 million listens. Investments, economics, decision-making, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests include Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Harry Markowitz & Vernon Smith. Also: James Altucher, Dan Ariely, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Marc Faber, Tim Ferriss, Jason Fried, Gerd Gigerenzer, Larry Hite, Sally Hogshead, Ryan Holiday, Jack Horner, Ewan Kirk, Steven Kotler, Michael Mauboussin, Tucker Max, Barry Ritholtz, Jim Rogers, Jack Schwager, Ed Seykota, Philip Tetlock & Walter Williams. All 500+ eps at www.trendfollowingradio.com/rss.

Nov 28, 2016

Michael brings football into the podcast today. He starts off playing a press conference clip with Tony Romo and his response to being injured and falling from his spot as the starting quarterback.

Michael moves on to Donald Trump and what government should be. There are pro’s and con’s to Trump becoming President, but the bottom line is that people voted against the current political system. 50% of Americans decided to roll the dice and see what happens.

Big picture: Your trading strategy must not be based on who the President might be. Just follow the trend.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Meritocracy
  • Donald Trump as President
  • Trading off the trend, not fundamentals
Nov 25, 2016

Michael welcomes Daniel Crosby, author of “The Laws of Wealth: Psychology and the Secret to Investing Success.” His background is in behavioral psychology and he sees the markets as a great backdrop to view human behavior in a real world setting.

Michael and Daniel start breaking apart the efficient market theory into two concepts: 1. You can’t beat the market, and 2. The price that you see is always right. They discuss debate in the academic world between the efficient market camp and the behavioral finance camp. Daniel says that the 2008 crash shows where the efficient market theory starts to break down. He moves into value and momentum trading.

Daniel brings in research proving that rules based approaches is 94% more successful than expert personal discretion. “Let your profits run and cut your losers short” is perhaps the biggest rule in trend following which takes great psychological discipline. Daniel says that it is an easy concept to grasp, but so hard to follow. Any investment discipline rooted in human psychology has a much better chance of working and sticking around than other strategies that don’t take human nature into account.

To make the risky choices Daniel says you need a mentor. Humans don’t do well with volatility and uncertainty. We live in the present and not in the future so a lot of people need coaching to look beyond the day to day. The hallmark of a good investor realizes that the rules do apply to them and they own the fact that they are no more gifted or special than the next person. Most investors tend to leave about 50% of their profits on the table due to bad emotional decisions.

Daniel says that everyone talks about the idea of “trouble is opportunity” but they don’t really live by it. People need to take a closer look at what “opportunity” really is. They need a rule, system or automation in place that makes them do the thing they don’t want to do. Michael and Daniel finish up the podcast talking about “benchmarks” and how they hinder investors performance and aid in making bad decisions. People who have personal benchmarks rather than index benchmarks have shown to trade more successfully.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Expert discretion
  • Efficient market theory
  • The eradication of guinea worms
  • Human ego
  • Warren Buffett and his trading strategy
  • Passive investing
  • Sigmund Freud’s impact on trading
  • Standard deviation as a proxy for risk
  • Matching “the benchmark”
Nov 21, 2016

On today’s episode of Trend Following Radio Michael Covel interviews Jim Rickards. Jim was front and center during the 1998 LTCM blow-up. He was a partner and general counsel for Long Term Capital Management. Following their blowup, he was principal negotiator in the 1998 bailout of LTCM by the Federal Reserve. He has had a bird’s eye view of some of the most interesting events in the economy over the last 20 years.

Jim and Michael start the conversation off talking about WikiLeaks, who the global elites are, and how they are slowly being exposed. WikiLeaks is showing the private face of how politicians think and giving a behind the curtains look into their lives. People are losing confidence in these “elites” and the “elites” are starting to lose confidence in themselves.

In Jim’s latest book, “The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis,” he talks about 1998, 2008 and 2018. Jim gives these dates as examples of financial crises that happen (and will happen) every six to ten years. He relates financial panics to earthquakes. If you could stop an earthquake mid earthquake, this is similar to how we have been dealing with financial crises over the years. When bubbles are created, and then bailouts occur, government is only putting a stopper in the problem, however the problem is still there and building. The next bailout can’t come from the central banks.

Jim and Michael finish the podcast discussing cyber hacking and WWIII. Jim believes WWIII has already begun between Russia and America on a cyber warfare front. Cyber warfare has been happening between Russia and the U.S. for years. It is the worse kind of attack because you can get into major operating systems. Jim uses the operating systems of the Hoover Dam or getting into the operating system of the New York Stock Exchange as examples. If a terrorist got into the operating system of the Hoover Dam and opened up the flood gates it would wipe out hundreds of thousands of people.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • IMF
  • Long Term Capital Management
  • Federal reserve and bailouts
  • Efficient market theory
  • Bayes theorem
  • Complexity theory
  • Cyber warfare

Free copy of Jim's new book: Go here.

Nov 18, 2016

John Miller, author of “QBQ: The Question behind the Question”, is on today’s podcast. John’s message is all about person responsibility. His dad was the wrestling coach at Cornell University and he taught John the foundation for his way of thinking early on.

What could I have done different? How could I have done a better job? These are just a couple questions John tells people to ask themselves before they try and pass blame onto someone else. John shares a personal story of someone going above and beyond in their service. This story is referred to as “The coke story.” He shares it with every audience he speaks in front of because it is the perfect example of someone going above and beyond. John says that people need to rise above situations, swallow pride, and fix problems even if it wasn’t their mistake to fix.

Next, John shares what he did before writing books and doing speaking engagements. He was bored and depressed working behind a desk. Michael asks, “Even in a bored and depressed state, did you ever have a victim mentality in your psyche?” John shares another personal story about him shutting down an entire branch of his company (for good reason) so he could move locations and be in a more positive place. He says that he has always been proactive in how he looks at a situation. He gives a few “rule of thumb” phrases to try and stay away from: Whenever you ask “Why me”, that is falling into a victim mentality. “When” questions are typically linked to procrastination. “Who” questions seek culprits or people to pass blame onto. Ask questions that contain an “I” in there because "I" can only change me.”

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Staying accountable for your actions
  • Social media bullying and accountability
  • Stress is a choice
  • Asking yourself the right questions to stay accountable
  • Entitlement
Nov 14, 2016

Are markets efficient? Can you beat the market? Is the market the right price? These are questions Michael answers today. Michael brings in Benoit Mandelbrot to help explain the efficient market hypothesis and where we have all gone wrong in our thinking over the years. Next, he goes to Richard Feynman to explain the scientific method and how one goes about comparing and contrasting. Lastly, Michael lets Gerd Gigerenzer elaborate on the concept of heuristics.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Efficient market hypothesis
  • Scientific method
  • What is a heuristic?
  • The market price
  • What if money was no object?
Nov 11, 2016

Roger Housden is an author, speaker, and writing guide. He writes for “living and writing wild.” He has authored 22 books and has been featured everywhere from the New York Times to the LA Times. His latest book is titled, “Dropping the Struggle.”

Michael and Roger start the episode by breaking apart Roger’s book title, “Dropping the Struggle.” Roger looks at different areas of life where struggle doesn’t work such as the struggle for meaning or purpose of life, the struggle for love, and the struggle against change, just to name a few. Next, Roger expands on the idea of “the moment of now.” He says that the idea of “fate” does not mean that your life is predetermined. The love of ones fate, and embracing fate as your life is how you write your own story. Planning for the future has its place, but when it preoccupies current life completely, then it can be problematic.

Next, Michael and Roger talk about the always occurring “end of the world” debate going on. They use the upcoming election as an example. Once the presidential election is over, the debate will move onto something else. Life is a constant river. There will always be ups and downs. It is just the way the world works. It is how people respond to the ups and downs that define how things work out.

Love is the next topic of conversation. Roger says that there will always be imperfections with love but even those imperfections contribute to who we are as people. If you take those imperfections out, then we wouldn’t be the people that we are. It is part of the process of humility. Michael and Roger finish up discussing the differences between eastern and western cultures.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Reflective contemplation
  • The moment of now
  • The fantasy of control
  • Imperfections with love
  • Buddhist culture
  • Individuality in western culture
Nov 7, 2016

My special 500th episode is a 6-hour aggregate show featuring Charles Faulkner.

Nov 4, 2016

Jenny Blake is author of “Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One.” She is a former Google employee and has a perspective that everyone can learn something from, especially if you feel like you are at a plateau in life.

Michael and Jenny start the conversation off with the benefits of yoga. Jenny says that “Your body is your business.” She quickly realized that when her body was operating at 50% then her business was operating at 50%. Yoga has always been her outlet and her source of strength, flexibility, and one of her biggest accelerators of focus.

Michael asks, “How did we get to this point where everyone thinks that life goes in a straight line?” Jenny says we are all hungry for a sense of adventure, however we so often resist change. 2008 was a game changer that made many realize that anything can happen at any time. Social media has contributed to this also by creating a sense of restlessness and what Jenny refers to as “cognitive junk food”.

Jenny talks about the word “plateau” next. Plateau is the word she uses for when one thinks things/life are generally OK and then things start to gradually decline. When you hit a plateau, it is usually a case of mastering the job that you are doing at hand. It isn’t about personal failure. Plateau’s are more about figuring out what is next, how you can continue to grow, and how you can make the most impact on the world, Jenny interviewed a wide variety of people from peak performers to others who peak in some other way. She found that pivots were the most successful when the answer was already within someone. When it doesn’t work out is when people try to pivot too sharply. We can’t always know 100% if a pivot is going to work or if it is right but you need to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and take the risk.

Jenny moves on to explain what she calls “the pivot method”, which is comprised of a four step process. Plant, is the first step: One foot stays planted and the other foot pivots and scans the other options. It is about where you want to end up one year from now. The second step is scan: As you plant your feet you scan all the options. The third step is piloting: This is the experimentation phase. The last step is launch: This step is exactly how it sounds, you are launching into whatever that pivot is that you have been experimenting with. Michael and Jenny give lots of personal examples of all of these steps and go into great detail.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Ditching the cognitive junk food
  • Efficiency
  • The pivot method
  • Mindfulness practice
  • The happiness formula
  • Rejection is a stepping stone
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